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ISSUE DATE: 10/2016

Determine if income is available or unavailable. Income is available when:

Received by the client.

Received by someone for the client and available to the client. However, for some programs, when a person who does not live with the client receives the client's RSDI checks, special provisions apply. See 0017.15.45 (Income From RSDI and SSI).

Wages are withheld as a result of a garnishment, deemed income to the unit, or court ordered child/spousal support. See 0016 (Income From People Not in the Unit), 0018.33 (Child and Spousal Support Deductions).

Withheld by the employer at the client's request.

Income is unavailable when the client cannot gain access to the income. For example, wages are unavailable when an employer owes wages to, but refuses to pay, a client.

For some programs, student financial aid is considered available when the client signs or receives the award letter, not when money is actually disbursed. See 0017.15.36.03 (When to Budget Student Financial Aid).

Do not count unavailable income.


Clients must try to gain access to unavailable income as a condition of eligibility, unless they can document that the income is permanently unavailable.

Deduct the costs of securing unearned income, such as legal fees, medical fees, withdrawal penalties, and mandatory deductions (such as federal and state income taxes). Apply disregards to earned income.

Deny or terminate assistance when clients fail to cooperate in gaining access to the income.

Disregard income received before the month of application, regardless of the period it was intended to cover.

Periodic income received by a participant during or after the month of application is considered available and must be converted to monthly amounts. See 0017.09 (Converting Income to Monthly Amounts). Some income, such as casino profits, can be received on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. Budget income that participants have the option to receive on a monthly basis as monthly income even if they access it on a less than monthly basis.

For self-employment income received before the month of application, see 0017.15.33 (Self-Employment Income), 0017.15.33.03 (Self-Employment, Convert Inc. to Monthly Amt), 0017.15.33.24 (Self-Employment Income From Farming).

Do not allow a deduction from income when part of the income is being withheld to repay a debt or obligation, unless the income is being reduced to recover a prior overpayment from the same income source. (For example, a VA payment of $400 is reduced by $150 due to a prior VA overpayment; in this case, count only $250.)


Follow general provisions. In addition, count the following as available income:

Transitional housing payments for the homeless which are designated for a specific household. See TRANSITIONAL HOUSING in 0002.67 (Glossary: Thrifty...).

The amount that is being recouped from RSDI, SSI, UC, WC, VA or other income source due to adjudicated fraud. Do not count amounts being recouped when there is no fraud.

The amount of an assistance payment that is being recouped from GA or MSA due to adjudicated fraud. Do not count amounts being recouped when there is no fraud.

Do not count fees paid from SSI/RSDI to organizational representative payees as income.


Follow GA, EXCEPT allow an income deduction to pay a fee, recoupment, court-ordered support or similar obligation. See 0018.39 (Prior and Other Income Reductions).

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